We’ve just completed our 13th session of Legendary Lives, with Ross as GM, featuring me, Rod, and Robbie, hence “The Four R’s” as I’ve dubbed the resulting saga. Session 8 closed out the initial set of conflicts set in and around Smith City, and sessions 9-11 concerned the voyage from harbor to harbor as our heroes traveled by sea to the hub of the Elven Empire, Tourmaline. (see the attached map from the rulebook)
Looking over the game as a text with associated adventures and stuff available at the website, and looking over our experience of play, I see an odd “gap” into which play can fall. As far as I can tell, given most of the examples in the book and as implied by the play aids, one plays to experience whimsical, almost caper-like adventures with varying degrees of lethality, and the colorful diversity of character types is there so players can wear different amusing hats. However, the content and processes of character creation not only imply but actively promote much more motivated, opinionated, proactive characters up to their necks in highly individualized crises. In other words the adventures and “how to play” material are all about how you can play a Draconian, for instance, in them, and Draconians are kewl. But if you sit down and make up a character, and happen to get a Draconian (again, for instance), you get very much your Draconian with his or her specific history, opinions, and immediate, pressing problems.
Ross has been GMing the game with his aim on the latter. The whole “scenario” was less of a prepared dangerous situation that just anyone could have wandered into to be “in an adventure,” and more of setting the various firecrackers on the three character sheets into the same spot. The effect has been enlightening – yes, we saw serious arc development per character, or at least, for two of the three, but we’ve also found the game or possibly the system to stumble in terms of “what next” once that has happened or mostly happened. So … as of session 8, or especially 11, now “away” and “safe” relative to most of our former problems, what happens? Especially in terms of the character-driven concerns, on our sheets, most of which are now resolved. The new adversity and new adventures (as a result, not as a plan) has to grope around a little for its urgency, lacking the same degree of character-proactive fuel.
The embedded video link goes directly to session 12, beginning a new playlist; I’ll add #13 to it soon.